Fabulous Young Adult Books to Read to Know Your Students

You can know much about someone by what they choose to read in their free time. Someone who loves horror stories is probably more likely to be a thrill seeker, while someone who loves contemporary novels may be more solitary and enjoy the creature comforts of home. So reading some popular young adult books this summer may help you to understand who your students are, what they like, and what makes them tick. If you would like to read some great LGBTQ novels, check out this post for recommendations.

Before we get started, I must let you know that this blog post includes affiliate links.

I am an Amazon Associate, and as such, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Divergent Series

The first set of novels I’ve chosen is the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. This set is a group of three young adult books, with a companion novel. It has been out for some time but is still very popular due to the movies. The original book, Divergent, features Beatrice Prior, who must decide who she is and which faction of life she will follow for her future. This dystopian novel has something for everyone: action, romance, self-realization, and thrills. Its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, continue to follow Tris on her path of coming to age and finding love in a chaotic and changing society.

Paper Towns

The next novel you should undertake is Paper Towns by John Green. Paper Towns is a stand-alone book released as a movie in the summer of 2015. It follows the close yet complicated relationship of two friends, Q and Margo, and the quest that Q must undertake to find Margo when she goes missing. This young adult book features mystery, romance, and learning to step out of your comfort zone.


Once Paper Towns has been read, pick up the fun and quirky, relatable story Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Wren are sisters who grew up with the famous “Simon Snow” novels. Now that they are going to college, Wren is starting to make her way, but Cath is still dependent on her sister. When Cath is stuck with a new roommate and her clingy boyfriend, she has to learn how to be independent and live on her own. This romantic, funny, coming-of-age story will have you looking for the next book by Rainbow Rowell.

If I Stay

An emotional, heart-wrenching work of fiction is If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This book features Mia, a classical music-loving, cello-playing high school student. She falls head over heels in love with Adam, the resident rock star of the local grunge band scene. Their worlds intertwine and collide until an accident on a snowy winter day turns Mia’s world upside down and forces her to make the most significant decision of her life. This book will have you cheering for love and crying for hard choices. The sequel, Where She Went, is also available.

The Maze Runner

Finally, the thrilling action book, The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, is an older series. Like Divergent, with movies coming out, it is gaining in popularity now. It follows the story of Thomas. He is a boy who is sent into “the glade” to live amongst other boys. They are all trying to find a way out of the maze surrounding them. Escaping the labyrinth may sound easy, but monsters are lurking around every corner. When a surprise person enters the glade, everything begins to change, and the need to get out becomes much more desperate. This dystopian novel features thrills, action, and adventure and is great for the young men in your life who need something to read.

In Summary

These five young adult books will keep you busy over the summer. They will also help you connect with your students in the coming years. I hope you enjoy them and learn something about the youth of today.

This post was written in collaboration with my young adult daughter, Reagan, who has her own blog, Burning Reads Books, where she specializes in reading and reviewing books.


**Being that these are young adult books, they may contain items that you find offensive. Please be aware of that before beginning any of these novels.

Visit History Gal’s blog to read another great tip on how not to waste your summer.

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5 thoughts on “Fabulous Young Adult Books to Read to Know Your Students”

  1. Great list Brittany! I really enjoyed the Divergent series, as well as a couple of the Maze Runner books. Maybe I'll start my summer with If I Stay. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the ideas! I've got to head to the library! I have so far only read the first Divergent book. Thanks for sharing your list.

  3. Pingback: 15 Gay Books Young Adults Will Love | The Colorado Classroom

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